Microbial oceanographer Dr. Deo Florence L. Onda from the Marine Science Institute (MSI), University of the Philippines- Diliman, is set to become the first Filipino “record-setting” to explore Emden Deep, the “World’s 3rd Deepest Spot” that is located in the Philippine Trench approximately 10,400 meters or 34,100 feet deep.
On Wednesday, the UPMSI stated that the “Deep sea expeditions like this one are equivalent to the first early flights into outer space, thus it would be a major record-setting scientific and historic achievement. To date, most of these records are held by foreign scientists or explorers.”
“The Philippine Trench is a unique feature found within the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of the Philippines, and it is only appropriate that a Filipino scientist be one of the first to hold this record in the Emden Deep,” UPMSI added.
Onda has invited the journey to join Victor Lance Vescovo, an American explorer onboard the DSSV (Deep Submersible Support Vessel) Pressure Drop, the only marine recorded vessel that can launch submersible human transport into the deepest seas in the world.
Onda and the team are expected to start the Emden Deep exploration from March 22 to 28 from the port of Guam to the Philippine Trench.
For each major dive we do, we create a "mission patch" like for space missions. Here are the ones from this year so far. Included is the upcoming dive with Dr. Deo Ondo of the Philippines for the first-ever crewed descent into the Philippine Trench (in two days). pic.twitter.com/PfmEEJwsTs
— Victor Vescovo (@VictorVescovo) March 21, 2021
Vescovo whose goal is to capture and write deep-sea history through an array of sea expeditions showed the 6 major dive patches he had including one in the Philippines, “For each major dive we do, we create a “mission patch” like for space missions. Here are the ones from this year so far. Included is the upcoming dive with Dr. Deo Ondo (Onda) of the Philippines for the first-ever crewed descent into the Philippine Trench (in two days),” Vescovo posted on Twitter.
Vescovo is said to be no stranger to deep-sea expeditions. Vescovo holds the record for the deepest manned descent in the Marianas Trench in 2019 and is the main sponsor of Caladan Oceanic, a private organization dedicated to the advancement of sea exploration.
This is a test of human exploration where part of it is to wave the Philippine Flag in the Emden Deep, as an integral part of Philippine heritage. “This endeavor can spark interest and passion for many other young Filipinos who would want to make a career in the sciences and bring more attention to the protection, preservation, and conservation of the Philippine marine environment,” UPMSI stated.
Onda’s expedition is considered a non-Marine Scientific Research (MSR) activity. However, this has been fully supported by the Philippine Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/savedeocean